At face value, buying a Keurig machine seemed like the ideal answer to my daily coffee itch (or addiction). At 70cents a pop, they’re around 6 times cheaper than the $4.50 I was paying for a coffee from down the road. But with the cost of buying the machine, cleaning, and keeping the pod drawer fully stocked, I soon found my Keurig machine burning a hole in my pocket.
It’s time to crunch the numbers. Exactly how much does using the Keurig system cost?
We’ve found that the average household with 2 coffee-drinking adults will go through 4 coffee pods per day. Drinking the most popular capsules in the Keurig range means you’ll spend on average $1328 each year on K-Cup capsules. If we factor in the cost of purchasing the machine (depreciated across its life span) and maintaining the machine with regular cleaning, descaling, and electricity usage, that figure increases to $1205 every year, or nearly $12k over 10 years!
Now, this seems shocking. But let’s break down these numbers and figure out if getting a Keurig machine is worthwhile, or if the Keurig coffee ecosystem is more expensive than you’d think.
*for this article it’s important to note all prices have been quoted in United States Dollars (USD).
Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚
Table of Contents
How Much Does A Keurig Machine Cost?
We want to look at the whole picture here so we’ll also need to factor in the upfront cost of buying the coffee machine.
Keurig-compatible machines vary in price (and features) wildly. You can pick up a basic model such a Keurig K-Mini for as little as $99 on Amazon, or splurge on one of the feature-packed commercial models like the K-3500 for a whopping $989.
Below is a summary of some of the most popular Keurig machines and their prices. Obviously, the more expensive machines are jam-packed with features like touchscreen control, and milk frothers. However, it is important to remember all these machines use the same capsules and therefore make the exact same quality of coffee. You don’t need to splurge on a top of line machine to make better coffee.
You can also read our full article here on which is the best Keurig machine for you.
So with all that said what is the average price of a Keurig machine? One of the most popular models in the United States is the Keurig K-Classic with over 90,000 reviews on Amazon. It has a retail price of $149 so we’ll use that for our calculations.
How Much Do The K-Cup Capsules Cost?
The cheapest Keurig K-Cups we could find are Amzons own brand pods which sell for $0.39 each, while at the other end, one of our favorite tasting pods, the Hayman Coffee Kona retails at $4.00 each.. Ouch!
We’ve listed some of the most popular brands and flavors below along with their cost so you can work out for yourself the cost of running a Keurig machine with your favorite brew.
|Keurig K-Cup Brands||Price|
|Amazon brand||$0.39 each|
|Newman’s Organic||$1.18 each|
|Hayman Coffee||$3.89 each|
We’ve averaged the price of a typical Keurig K-Cup to $0.70. Obviously if you stick to a cheaper or more expensive brew then your totals will vary.
Based on a 2019 survey of American coffee drinkers, the average number of coffees consumed each day is almost exactly 2 cups of coffee per day. Based on an average household having 2 coffee-drinking adults, we’re going to assume a figure of 4 Keurig pods per day for our calculations.
|Type of K Cup||Average Price||Cost Per Year|
Of course, you may drink more or less than this figure (we’ve heard of some people downing a whopping 12 cups each day! – yikes). Check out our Keurg cost calculator here to work out your own number.
Based on the logic above, we can therefore conclude the average cost of buying k-cups for your Keurig machine is around $1022 each year.
How Much Does Maintaining A Keurig Machine Cost?
One expense we tend to forget is the cost (and time) involved in properly caring for and cleaning your coffee machine. But like any piece of equipment, a coffee machine needs to be looked after in a regular maintenance cycle to make sure it lasts for years to come.
The Keurig user manual recommends you descale your machine every three months. If you drink a lot of coffee, you should also descale it every 300 capsules (or whatever comes first). Some models have a light on the machine that blinks when you need to descale which serves as a helpful reminder.
Descaling is a process where you pass an acidic solution through the machine’s pipework to dissolve the calcification and mineral buildup from salts in your tap water.
The descaling kit sold on the Keurig website cost $20 and contains 2 doses. That’ll last you six months. So, we’ll add a total of $40 per year to the bill.
Savings Tip: You don’t need to use the Keurig branded descaler. You can save money by buying one of the 3rd party brand products that we recommend here!
Not the right machine for you? Check out our other descaling guides for Keurig coffee machines below:
How Long Does A Keurig Machine Last?
This is a tricky question, and it all depends on how well you look after your Keurig.
Keurig machines that are descaled regularly and looked after can easily last 10 years. Machines that live in harsh environments, run on hard water, and aren’t cleaned properly might only last 2 years at best.
From our research, it looks like most consumers get 5 – 7 years out of their Keurig machines when properly cared for. We’ll take an average of 6 years which means we can depreciate our cost of buying the coffee machine over this period.
Since the new K-Classic machine discussed above retails at $149 and should last 6 years, we can work out that the cost of buying a Keurig machine works out to around $25 each year.
How Much Power Does A Keurig Machine Use?
Another expense that is often ignored is the cost of electricity needed to run your appliance. Fortunately, Keurig machines have been designed to only heat up water when it’s needed which makes them incredibly electrically efficient.
Your Keurig machine only draws a lot of power when its first turned on (to heat the water from room temperature) and when you run the extraction (bringing new cold water into the boiler).
If we look at the Keurig K-Classic, it takes 2-3 minutes to heat up and then will take around 60 seconds to extract your coffee. Its built-in energy saver mode will then automatically shut down the machine 120 minutes later.
The K-Classic is rated to use 1500W of electricity. Making 4 cups of coffee per day, we can estimate an annual power consumption of around 813kWh. At a power price of $0.21/kWh, the cost of electricity adds another $118 to our annual cost.
Read More: We wrote this entire article explaining how to calculate your Keurig’s power usage and even contains a helpful excel template file!
So, What Is The Total Cost Of Owning A Keurig Machine?
If we add up the cost of the pods, maintenance and purchasing a middle-of-the-range machine as outlined above, we work out the total cost of using the Keurig system to be around $1205 per year.
|Expense||Estimated Cost Per Year|
|Cost of Machine||$25 per year|
|Cost of Maintenance||$40 per year|
|Cost of Electricity||$118 per year|
|Cost of Coffee Pods||$1022 per year|
|Total Cost Per Year:||$1205|
That means in 10 years, using Keurig will have cost 12,050 dollars!
Of course, this is still 80% cheaper than buying café coffee every day, but again much more expensive than buying your own beans and making a plunger, filter, or even instant coffee.
Deciding whether or not to switch to the Keurig system therefore can’t be a purely financial study. You’ll want to consider factors like convenience, taste, speed, ease of use, and ease of cleanup before you decide whether Keurig is right for you.
Read More: Interested in how Nespresso stackes up? We did the exact same study with the Nespresso system and the results were fascinating!
We hope this article has been helpful in understanding the true cost of owning a Keurig machine and joining the Keurig ecosystem.
We were surprised to learn during writing this that the biggest cost is by far the cost of the Keurig K-Cups, but also that the machines actually use a very large amount of electricity!
Enjoyed this article? Let us know in the comments below.. or check out some of our other Keurig coffee articles below.